The terms and conditions associated with our repatriation funeral plans are detailed in the following document:
These Terms and Conditions together with your Application Form, the Brochure and the Plan Price List and Charges, make up the agreement between you and us for your plan.
Application Form – means our Application Form that must be signed by you.
Brochure – means our official brochure, which contains details of our funeral plans.
Cancellation Fee – means the charge that applies if you or us cancel your plan more than 14 days from the Plan Start Date as detailed on the Plan Price List and Charges’ insert to the Brochure. This charge is £395.
Disbursements – means the third party costs associated with the funeral and/or repatriation, that the Funeral Director makes on your behalf, and include the flight cost, cremation or cemetery fee, Doctor’s fee and Minister’s fee. Disbursements up to the limit specified in your plan are included.
Funeral Director Fees and Services – means the fees and services that are supplied directly by the Funeral Director. Only those Funeral Director Fees and Services specified in your plan are included.
Payment Method – means the way that you have chosen to pay for your plan:
- Lump Sum – means payment in full by one single payment at the time you take out your plan.
- Instalments – means paying for your plan by a set number of instalment payments. A minimum deposit may be required.
Plan Certificate – means the certificate issued to you within 30 days of the Plan Start Date.
Plan Price – means the price of your plan if you were paying by Lump Sum as detailed on the Plan Price List and Charges.
Plan Price List and Charges – means our official list of plan prices and charges, which is an insert to the Brochure.
Plan Start Date – means the date that your signed Application Form and Payment Method have been received at our Head Office.
Special Requests – means the requests you have specified on the Application Form. These are requests only and although we will do our best to fulfi l them they cannot be guaranteed.
Us/We/Our – means Avalon Trustee Company Ltd (for UK plan holders) or Avalon (Europe) Ltd (for overseas plan holders).
You/Your – means the plan holder (and/or partner for joint applicants).
Your Nominated Funeral Director – means the Funeral Director nominated to fulfill your plan.
Your Plan – means your chosen funeral plan as specified in the Brochure and detailed on the Application Form.
You are eligible to take out your plan if you are over 18 at the Plan Start Date.
2. THE AIM OF YOUR PLAN
The aim of your plan is to give you and your loved ones protection from rising funeral costs and the worry of having to arrange your funeral when the time comes. Your plan will cover the Funeral Director Fees and Services in full and an allowance for Disbursements (see Section 3 – What Your Plan Includes).
3. WHAT YOUR PLAN INCLUDES
The Funeral Director Fees and Services costs are fi xed for the lifetime of Your Plan. No matter how much these costs rise by in the future, the Funeral Director’s Fees and Services are guaranteed to be provided at no extra cost to you or your next of kin, providing the funeral is carried out by the Funeral Director stated on your funeral plan certificate.
Your plan also covers an allowance for Disbursements up to a pre-determined limit for cremation or burial. The amount of this allowance is detailed on the Plan Price List and Charges insert to the Brochure. This allowance for Disbursement Costs will increase annually on 1st July in line with increases in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). There may be a balance to pay at the time of need if the actual disbursements paid on your behalf by your nominated Funeral Director are more than allowance plus the annual uplifts in CPI.
4. YOUR NOMINATED FUNERAL DIRECTOR
We have a number of contracted, reputable, Independent Funeral Directors to fulfi l the funeral arrangements in the future. When you purchase your plan we will allocate a Funeral Director. If you have a preferred Funeral Director we will do our best to allocate your plan to them, but this is not always possible. If it has not been possible to allocate your plan to your preferred Funeral Director we will allocate one for you. If the Funeral Director we have nominated is not acceptable, please contact us to discuss alternative Funeral Directors who could provide the funeral.
If you move house please remember to let us know and if necessary we will assign a new Funeral Director to conduct the funeral. If you let us know before the time of need there will be nothing additional to pay, but if this is done at the time of need a Preferred Funeral Director fee will apply.
5. YOUR APPLICATION FORM
By sending your signed Application Form and Payment Method to us you are agreeing to buy your plan subject to these Terms and Conditions.
6. YOUR FUNERAL PLAN DOCUMENTS
We will send you a certificate of entitlement (your Plan Certificate) within 30 days of your Plan Start Date. You should keep this in a safe place and let your next of kin know where you keep it.
If you lose your Plan Certificate or move house, please contact us and we will supply a replacement Plan Certificate. If as a result of moving house it is necessary to allocate you a new nominated Funeral Director we will update your Plan Certificate accordingly.
7. DUAL CERTIFICATION
This option is offered to customers who have fixed residence in two countries. This will provide you or your family with the choice to have your funeral in one of two locations. You need to inform us in writing of the second residence before death occurs and we will provide an additional Plan Certificate detailing the second residence.
If the funeral is held in a country other than the country specified on the Application Form, the funeral will be of a standard equivalent to the service choice you have selected on your Application Form.
This option is only available in countries that we operate in. Further information can be obtained by contacting our Head Office.
8. YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS
You can choose between two payment methods:
- Lump Sum – payment in full by one single payment at the time you take out your plan.
- Installments – payment by a set number of installment payments. A minimum deposit may be required. Interest of 4.7% per annum is charged on the Plan Price less any deposit paid for installment plans with a term greater than 12 months.
We may ask a third-party organization to collect payments if you default on your payments, and fail to adhere to the Terms and Conditions.
9. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PLAN IS NOT FULLY PAID AT THE TIME OF YOUR DEATH
Your plan will not provide the funeral you have chosen until it is fully paid. If you are paying by instalments and your plan has not been paid in full at the time of your death we will send your next of kin a Closing Statement detailing the balance outstanding to make your plan fully paid. Your next of kin have the option to either:
- Pay or provide a clear commitment to pay the balance outstanding in full before the funeral can be arranged; or
- Cancel your plan by writing to us and we will return all the payments made, less the Cancellation Fee. If the payments made to us are less than the Cancellation Fee, we may ask you to pay us the balance. In this case, we will have no further obligation to fulfill your plan.
10. THE AVALON TRUST FUND
Your money is securely invested in the Avalon Trust Fund No 3 (for UK planholders) or the Avalon Trust Fund No 4 (for European planholders).
The funds in Trust are held separately to the Company and managed by Independent Trustees to ensure your money is protected.
We utilize advisors with the highest regard towards long-term financial security:
- The Custodian Trustee is Capita Trust Company Limited who are responsible for legally holding the assets of the Trusts separate to the Company. Capita is a FTSE 100 company that specialists in public services.
- The Trusts are valued annually by our actuaries, Rowanmoor Group plc, to ensure there are sufficient assets to ultimately meet the future payments to Funeral Directors.
- Insight Investment are the Investment Managers to the Trusts. Their objective is to ensure that the funds in the Trusts grow securely in line with the stated liabilities of the future funeral costs. Insight are a leading global asset manager.
- The Trusts accounts are produced and audited annually by BDO LLP, the award-winning UK member firm of the BDO international network, the world’s fifth largest accountancy organization, with 1,200 offices in 138 countries.
In the event that Avalon ceases to trade, the Trust Funds will continue until all fully paid plans have been fulfilled.
11. CONVERTING AN INSTALMENT PLAN INTO A FULLY PAID PLAN
If, during the term of your instalments you wish to make the plan fully paid you can do this by requesting (without obligation) a conversion statement that shows your outstanding balance from our Customer Services team. If the outstanding balance is paid in full within 40 days from Plan Start Date all future interest will be waived. If the outstanding balance detailed on the conversion statement is paid in full after 40 days from the Plan Start Date all future interest will be waived but an additional administration charge of £50 applies.
12. INCREASING AND DECREASING INSTALMENT PAYMENTS
You may increase and decrease the amount of your instalments at any time during the term by contacting our Customer Services team. Increasing payments will reduce the instalment term selected at outset and will reduce the total amount to pay to make the plan fully paid. Decreasing instalment payments will increase the instalment term and may increase the total amount to pay to make the plan fully paid.
13. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU STOP PAYING INSTALMENTS PART WAY THROUGH THE TERM
If you stop paying instalments part way through the instalment term you have 60 days to reinstate your plan by re-commencing payments.
If you do not re-commence payments within 60 days, but decide to re-commence payments at a later date then we will conduct a plan review taking into account the current Brochure price of your plan and the instalments paid to date. The review may lead to an increase in the total amount to pay to reinstate your plan and may lead to an increase in the instalment term.
If you do not re-commence payments, the instalment payments made less the Cancellation Fee will, at the time of need, either:
- Be paid to your nominated Funeral Director as a contribution towards funeral costs; or.
- Be paid to your next of kin. In this case, we will have no further obligation to fulfil your plan.
Complaints about your plan should be made in writing to Avalon Customer Services, Brooke Court, Lower Meadow Road, Handforth Dean, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 3ND. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 7 days and aim to resolve your complaint within 30 days.
If we are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome to your complaint we will refer your complaint to an Independent Arbitrator. We agree to abide by the decision of the Independent Arbitrator.
15. CANCELLING YOUR PLAN
You have the right to cancel your plan, with no obligation, within 14 days of the Plan Start Date and receive a full refund of all monies paid. If you decide to cancel your plan more than 14 days from the Plan Start Date, please inform us in writing at our Head Offi ce and we will return all monies paid less the Cancellation Fee. If the payments made to us are less than the Cancellation Fee, we may ask you to pay us the balance. If you cancel your plan we will have no further obligation to fulfil your plan.
16. WHAT YOUR NEXT OF KIN NEED TO DO AT THE TIME OF NEED
At the time of need your next of kin should contact your nominated Funeral Director detailed on your Plan Certificate. Your next of kin must give a copy of the Funeral Plan Certificate to your nominated Funeral Director. The Funeral Director will contact us to establish if the plan is fully paid. Any Special Requests will be communicated to your next of kin and your nominated Funeral Director. If the plan is fully paid the funeral will proceed. If you are paying by instalments and your plan has not been paid in full at the time of your death we will send your next of kin a Closing Statement detailing the balance outstanding to make your plan fully paid. Your next of kin have the option to either:
- Pay or provide a clear commitment to pay the balance outstanding in full before the funeral can be arranged; or
- Cancel your plan by writing to us and we will return all the payments made, less a Cancellation Fee of £395. If the payments made to us are less than the Cancellation Fee, we may ask you to pay us the balance. In this case, we will have no further obligation to fulfil your plan.
Avalon will pay your nominated Funeral Director to fulfil the funeral. There may be a balance to pay at the time of need if the actual disbursements paid on your behalf by your nominated Funeral Director are more than Disbursements covered by your plan. This could happen if you live in an area where disbursement costs are high or disbursement costs rise much more than increases in the CPI.
Any additional services requested at the time of need that are not included in your plan (e.g. flowers, obituary notices, additional following limousines, etc.) shall be paid directly to your nominated Funeral Director by your next of kin.
No refund is payable for services included in your plan that your next of kin chooses not to receive at the time of need.
Your plan does not include Value Added Tax (VAT) because it is not currently charged on the items/services included in the funeral plans as described in our Brochure. Some additional services may include VAT, according to the regulations set out by HM Customs and Excise (e.g. flowers, obituary notices, etc.). We include VAT on the cost of any additional items on your plan for which VAT is currently payable.
If Government policy changes and VAT is charged on all or any other part of your plan in the future, then we reserve the right to recover this cost from you or your next of kin.
18. VARIATION OF TERMS
We may vary all or any of these terms specified in these Terms and Conditions or on your Application Form at any time upon giving you seven days prior written notice if and when it becomes necessary or appropriate to do so in order for us to comply with legal, fiscal or regulatory requirements.
19. HOW INFORMATION HELD ABOUT YOU AND YOUR NEXT OF KIN WILL BE USED
The information we hold about you and your next of kin will be used for the purposes of administering your plan. The information we hold about you may also be held on computer records. We will not normally give any personal information about you to any other party, but there may be circumstances where we need to do this. We may give information which we hold about you to:
a) funeral directors and people who are acting as our agents or sub-contractors and on the understanding that it will be kept confidential;
b) if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation; and
c) other companies associated with us and carefully selected third parties for marketing to you of the other products and services which we think may be of interest to you, where you have consented to receive such communications.
These Terms are subject to English law.
Terms and Conditions Valid As At January 2014